General Goals 1) to be debt free in 3.5 years 2) save lots of money

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Few Updates

Sorry for the late update. I started a post last night but was to sleepy to finish it. Also I thought I know I saved it. But guess what it didn't save. So I am starting from scratch again. This is so frustrating.

Job update: Yesterday I went I for my last day of training. I got the job with Statistics Canada. If you live in Canada please make sure you hand in your Census and if you get one your National Household Survey. So far I have only done 10h all of which has been training, which makes it feel like I haven't actually got the second job.

I promised pictures of my garage cleaning from this past Sunday and I know have them.  I should have got a before and after shot, but I didn't think about it, sorry.

The above picture is what the garage looks like empty. the bottom two pictures is all the stuff that I pulled out that when back I because its going in the garage sale. Yes mom has decided that this coming Saturday she is going to do one.

This is an insect that keep following  me all day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekly Spending Re-Cap June 20-26

June 20 (Monday)
No Spend day

June 21 (Tuesday)
$25.88 Skirt

June 22 (Wednesday)
$4.69 baking soda

June 23 (Thursday)
No Spend Day

June 24 (Friday)
No Spend Day

June 25 (Saturday)
No Spend Day

June 26 (Sunday)
$16.63 Sushi

Today was a long day and a good day. My friend came over to help me clean out the garage. He has the pictures so when he sends them to me I will post them. It took all day but afterwards it was clean. I now have 10 boxes in the front hall that I have to go through. Oh and get this I found 5 more boxes of books that I had forgotten about (Confession). So I now have to do major room organizing and cleaning because I am out of book cases and will have to clear off my shelves so I can add the books. The next step over the summer will be to start clearing out the storage unit and moving that stuff into the garage. Mom has decided that she is going to have the garage sale next weekend. We have a whole section in the garage dedicated to the furniture that she is going to sell. She has promised me that what ever doesn't sell can be tossed or donated. We will see how well that goes.

On to the good news I got a call back from Stats Can and it looks like I might have a second job lined up. So I will keep you posted on how that goes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Confessions of an indebted TD Student Line of Credit

In an attempt to not study for 30 min I decided to flipped though my old TD line of credit statements. I have only found a early as Feb 2006 when my credit limit was a small 8,000. Interest was dirty high at 8%, 7.25% and 7.5% though out the year.

I often want to ask people if they remember the very first thing that they put on their (visa, LoC, other consumer debt). I was always sure I knew what mine was but as I flipped thought my statements, it was reaffirmed. The very first thing I put on my LoC was my first and last month's deposit for my first place on  George st. N. That was March 28, 2006. I had had my line of credit since before September 2005 but had not used it. To 'spend' that $900 I was charged 74 cents. After that of the first year, most of my LoC was rent; though there are a quit a few spots were I paid my visa off with my LoC 60$, 100$ ect a shot. There are even months like June 2006 where all that my statement shows is payments, interest and insurance AKA no new debt And even by the end, Dec 2006 my available limit was 5,500.50 of the $8,000.00 I was given. So were did I fall off?

Some time between Jan 2007 and Jan 2009 I fell off the rail.

 I can't find the statements that consist of that time. June 2009 was a bang up month, I spend on my LoC $2,513.42. Yup that's a lot of money to blow though. But it didn't matter I still had 6,514.02 of averrable credit before I hit the 34,000.00 max. By December of 2009 my available limit was $1,668.41. The LoC was my never ending debit card and its clear that's how I saw it and used it. The statements don't lie.

Despite all the frivolous spending that I did that month (June 2009) and there was a lot like: $6.00 to E-Specially F (I don't even know what or who that company is, nor do I remember what the 6$ bought). The most frivolous thing I put on my LoC was candy. Yup I have a sweet tooth. The day after my birthday in September I went to the Bulk Barn and spent $50.52 on candy and a glass jar to to put it in. I justified it as my 'bday gift' to myself. The jar sat on my desk and I ate a lot of candy over the next month and half.

So there you have it, the day I starting digging my debt hole "March 28, 2006" for a deposit on my first apartment. The worst of my spending ways: June 2009 at $2, 513.42. And my most frivolous buy: $50.52 on candy.

What about you, can you answer these 3 questions:
1) what was the first thing you put on credit?
2) what was your worst debt month?
3) What was your most frivolous item you bought on debt?

Bi-Weekly Finances and Funds

  Monthly Pay 1st Pay 2nd Pay ActualBill
    1,027 1,084  
Catigories MFA Amount Amount  
TD Line of Credit 907.55 407.55 500 113
OSAP 117.45 117.45 0 117.45
Visa Card 0 0 25  
Retirment Fund 50 25 25 50
Emergancy Fund 50 25 25 50
Christmas Fund 80 40 40 80
Storage Unit 0 0 0 0
Cat Fund 100 0 100 100
Cat Food Fund 40 20 20 40
Condo Fund 0 0 0 0
Vacation Fund 0 0 0 0
What if... Fund 134.45 134.45 45* 134.45
Cell phone 100 50 50 79.38
Car Fund 100 120.28 179.44 299.72
Comp Stock 164.32 82.16 90.38 172.54
Spending Money 150 75 75 150

* Means that I put the money into my Xmas fund to help replenish it but was not originally mend for fund

I decided to write my post on blogspot but it didn’t save it… how upsetting is that! So I am going to try and recreate was I had written, I promise you my last post was whyter than this

You will notice that there is a discrepancy within my budgets. This is because my Company stock is taken off my pay before I get it, so even thought I budget for it and include it in my total cost my take home pay is the amount after the stock contribution has been added. I hope that makes sense.

The other thing you will notice is that with pay #2 my take home pay went up this is because of the 10% extra for taking the flex shift. However what they did was treat it as thought I got a 10% raise which resulted in an increase in my CPP, IE and Company stock contribution. This makes my actual difference in pay work out to be like $60.

You will also notice that I only put $500 in to my LoC and 25$ in to my visa. This is for the first installment to pay for my referring course that I put on my visa. The course cost $96.05. Thus $96.05-25= $71.05 is out standing on my visa. As well, I put $59.00 on my visa for the tank of gas. I have paid some of this off already 59.00-2.57-20.62= $35.81. Thus in total my current outstanding visa bill balance is 71.05+35.81= $106.86. I will reduce this amount by snowflaking and regular payments before the end of the month.
This month is a 3 pay month for me which is wonderful! I also plan to make up the difference of the $25 to my LoC next pay. I had hoped use the ‘extra’ month’s pay to put a large chunk on my LoC but that will likely not happen. My BP’s parents and I spit the cost of personalized license plates for him and that cost will come out of June’s 3rd pay. I also need to top-up my car fund and put money aside for the car I will likely have to rent next month to get up to the camping trip.

I mentioned before that I need specific work items, mostly shoes but I need a black pencil skirt as well. I have a whole bunch of neat knee high stockings that I want to be able to wear but don’t have the right skirt for. I was waiting for the bus and I saw a girl wearing the perfect skirt. So I asked her were she got it. I don’t like mall shopping I am a purpose shopper; pick up what I need and leave. It was funny because the next Q that never left my lips was ‘how much?’ I looked it up on line and the skirt is under $25 which is perfect because the idea of spending more makes me ill. So I think I am going to pick up the skirt sometime this week, paid for out of my spending money form this pay.

Bills paid for the month:
Visa~ $48.19
Cell phone~ $79.38
OSAP~ $117.45

No to shabby considering that we are under a postal strike, though the only thing I haven’t got as of yet is my visa bill. And I talk to TD regularly so no biggy.
I have updated all the funds and side bars except for my Christmas fund. It will stay stagnant until the amount owing is back to zero.

I don’t know how to say this because “I noticed or I just realized” doesn’t sound quite right. But I still owe money to my retirement fund. I would hate to have the amount still outstanding being carried over into the New Year (2012), so I am going to slowly work on snowflaking that down to Zero, once I am done with my Xmas fund.

I think about explains everything. If you have any Q’s just drop me a line.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekly Money Check-Up

* In true fashion I did my post on my budget just as I promised that I would. I even saved it thinking that the post could be found once I got home, as I wrote it at work. However I can't find it, the computer at work is a fickle beast. So I am going to do my Weekly Money Check-Up, courteously of MPP.

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on  tanks of gas.

2. Today I am thankful that I am able to pay down my debt. Its always nice to feel like tis going down.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was spend tie with my BF. Obviously there was a cost but we could have spend the time curled up together and I would have been happy with that.

4. I will consider this week a success if I my test goes well and I get the stuff with my duke of ed done. 

5. My night-stand contains I don't have a night stand. I have a space between one of my bookcases an my bed and on the floor I keep my mac,changers, a pen and my lap top table. That's the closest I get to a night stand.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Spending Re-Cap

June 13 (Monday)

No Spend Day
 June 14 (Tuesday)
$6.78 Dolleramma for Bday/ father’s day card and candy 

$17.90 Shoppers drug mart

June 15 (Wednesday)
$ 59.00 First tank of gas for road trip (this is cheep Canada style lol) 

$1.49 Lucky charm bar (snack)
$3.50 drinks
$20.00 dinner at cracker barrel (with out tip)

June 16 (Thursday) 
$6.00 USB charger
$25.00 Breakfast at Bob Evens (with trip)
$1.01 Penny flattener
$1.01 Penny flattener
$20.15 Personal Finance book
$4.46~ 267 inner-state toll road
$53.00 gas and drink

June 17 (Friday) 
$25.00 breakfast at Cracker barrel (with tip)
$3.17 peg game
$0.44 stamp for postcard 
$22.25 gas in  Ohio
$25.00 Ihop dinner (with tip)
$19.00 Woodheaven Gift Shop

June 18 (Saturday)
No Spend Day

June 19 (Sunday)
No Spend Day

I snow flaked $2.57 that was left over from last pay into my visa card. 2.57+ 341.82 = $344.39 in snowflakes. Cell bill paid 100-79.38= 20.62 added to visa bill 344.39+ 20.62= $365.01 in snowflake jar.

visa bill~ $59.00-2.57-20.62= $35.81 left outstanding on visa bill still to be paid off.

If you get the chance read this article its really interesting:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm Back!

I got home last night at 2:30am and dragged myself out of bed to work today 10-6pm. I have finally caught up on all your blogs but have not commented since I am at work. I am also caught up on the news as best as possible. There have been some interesting things happening. If you’re not familiar with hockey and Vancouver you will likely have missed the news about riots after Van. lost the Stanley Cup to Boston. Two nights ago while driving though Ohio I stopped at a small gas station and asked the attended if he knew how had won the Cup, he looked at me blankly when I asked him if he knew what hockey was. So I will forgive you for not knowing as well. Any ways it’s with much sadness that I tell you that I am ashamed of the behaviour of my age group (25 and under) who were clearly the majority of hooligans out that night as they destroyed, looted and burned down town Vancouver.

My min-vacation was suppose to include shopping in buffalo (I desperately need work appropriate cloths), this didn’t happen. Instead we crossed the USA-CAN border at Kingston and driver thought New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, went to Washington DC, Ohio, Michigan and back up through Ontario home. I made a conscious effort to make sure that we spit the cost as best as possible. My BF often pays for most things when it comes to our relationship. I only took $390 down with me he took $900, it is often difficult to compete against those numbers. I made sure that I paid for things like gas and meals and souvenirs. The big expense was motel/hotel which worked out to be about $200, my BF covered.

 Everything else in the USA was cheep! We would go out to eat and what would normally cost us easily $35 with out tip would come to $25 with tip in the USA. And Gas! OMG my BF’s tank normally costs $65 + to fill here in Ontario in the USA it was $40-45. With everything being so cheep and no shopping I came home with $140.58 US in my pocket. My BF came home with a little over $400 still in his pocket. It was a good trip.

 I still need work cloths but I am glad that when I exchange the money back into CAN dollars I will be able to replenish my Christmas Fund faster. The down side is I will likely have a little bit if debt left over from this trip at the end of the month depending on how things pan out. I paid for the first tank of gas on my visa ($65+) and didn’t factor it in that cost of the trip. Hopefully I am able to play around with the numbers and snowflake a few dollars to bring that cost down. All in all it was worth it, I am existed but it was a great couple of days.

In other news, you might remember that I had in the past spend a LOT of money buying books and that one of my 2011Goals was to read 50 books I already owned. Well, while on this trip I bought my first book in 6 months. Times sure have changed thought; the book I bought was “The Idiot’s Guide to Personal Finance for 20 and 30 Year Olds.” The Idiot’s Guide Book Serious is American so I couldn’t get it in Canada unless I bought it on line. Thus using my visa, which I was not willing to do. I bought this one in cash something else I am happy about. My BF laughed and told me it was like watching a lapsing crack addict. I bought 2 other books but they were second hand and cost me $3 and one is for my dad. 

I got paid last Thursday but because I was away I haven’t paid any bills or moved anything around. I will do that Monday when the banks are open and blog about it than.

I hope everyone had a good couple of days. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mini holiday

My BF's birthday is the June 16th. I booked the 16th and 17th off and work has given me as my 'weekend' the 14th and 15th since I worked last weekend and this coming weekend. So I am off for a mini holiday with my BF starting tonight. You will notice that I have a note beside my Xmas fund that I owe it $250. This is because to pay for this trip without affecting everything else I took the money out of the least 'essential fund' what I mean is Christmas is still 6 months away. Any ways I am not worried about paying it back as I will have all of it but $30 paid back before the end of the month. And I will snowflake the extra money to make up for everything. When I get back I will post about my monthly budget because I didn't do one for last pay. So I am going to do the two together. This is shaping up to be another expensive month...sigh...

Any ways enjoy the next couple of days! I will look for ward to catching up with your blogs when I get back!

Weekly Money Check-Up May 30-June 10

So now  I missed last week and I am not sure how. So this is going to be a two week update.

May 30th (Monday)
$16.00 taxi
$28.25 via rail ticket
$20.00 transit tokens
May 31 (Tuesday)
No Spend Day
June 1 (Wednesday)
No Spend Day
June 2 (Thursday)
No Spend Day
June 3 (Friday)
$6.77 DVD
June 4 (Saturday)
No Spend Day
June 5 (Sunday)
No Spend Day
June 6 (Monday)
No Spend Day
June 7 (Tuesday)
$10.48 lunch at work
June 8 (Friday)
$3.80 lunch at work
June 9 (Saturday)
No Spend Day
June 10 (Sunday)
No Spend Day

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Catch Up

I hope everyone has had a great couple of days… I am a bit out of the loop, I confess. On Thursday I got a call from the Gov of Can. Do you remember way back in March I applied for a job with Stats Canada to help with The Censes? Any ways I never head back from them until Thursday.  Thursday morning I booked my test for my refereeing course so that I can be certified to ref hockey games. I have already been offered the option if I am certified to ref games for my old house league. I think ref’s only make like $20 a game but that’s $20 more I can put into my OSAP.

Stat Can. asked me to come in on Friday to write a test. So I did that on Friday. Also I spent the day helping my mom prepare her stuff for the tax man. Sorting out bills and putting them into order. Turns out she pays astronomical fees on her accounts, I’m taking for 1 of her 3 accounts she has already paid $143.80 in fees, in 5 months!! So I told her that she had to change her account type because she had the wrong account for her needs.

I work today 4-12 and Sunday 4-12. Today before work I got up and walked the dogs, a nice long walk. As I was out walking the dogs my BF called to say that he had tracked down a car he was going to check out for me after he is done work at 7pm. So if this works out I might have a car by the end of the month. It’s only a 2 door but it’s a 2005 Toyota echo hatchback, automatic. It’s not a bad price for the car and if I can get it for under 5,000.00 well I am laughing. I guess I can sacrifice 2 doors.
After we walked the dogs I went to the bank once to deposit by HST cheque for $100 in to my LoC and than back with mom to get her accounts sorted out. At the time I only thought she had 2 accounts, I discovered that she has 3. So one account we have changed to unlimited transactions for a flat fee, one we have left the way it is and the other one I am going to have to go back over the statements. Because she is paying gross fees on it as well, but I want to know how much. It wasn’t until I added up the fees and told her the dollar amount that she was willing to change the first account. This is what I will have to do to the 3rd account to get her to change it over as well.

Oh and I finished cataloging my books. I have about 15 I haven’t done (some my sister has and some my BF has).  Can you guess how many I have… I’ll given you a hint: a few years ago I did the first count at just under 500, I only had 3 book cases than… I now have 4 ½ book cases.

This is what I have been up to for the last couple of days.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Ripple Effects of Student Debt

I have never been fond of the $26,680 student debt number. This number is used to indicate  the max amount of student debt a student will insure after coming out of university after a 4 year degree after taking the max amount of student loans. In my case that would mean OSAP.  So theoretically that means that my max amount of student debt should really only be $26,680 and of course in my case this isn’t true. I had significantly MORE student debt that that.  So how do they generate this number? Basically they take the max amount of OSAP (for Ontario students) and multiply it by 4 (average amount of time to do 1 post secondary degree) than, if you get full OSAP 33% of that money is treated as a grant and ‘paid back to your student loan amount for you.’ To keep the numbers simple lets assume that the max OSAP is $10,000 a year, is a bit less than that in actuality. So $10,000 X 4years = $40,000 student debt. Of course this number dose not includes any summer courses or OSAP taken out to pay for those summer courses.  Now for graduating OSAP gives you a flat amount back for every full year of OSAP you were given. This number works about to be 1/3 of the total cost of that your so $10,000 X 0.33 =3300. If you took 4 years you would ‘get back’ $13200. This amount is ‘credited’ to your total cost of your student loan $40,000-13,200 = $26, 8000.00. This is how the max amount  of student debt a student graduating from university should expect to have. So if you have less than this ‘you’re in great shape’ and if you have more than this well ‘you clearly partied your money away.’

The biggest problem with this assumption is that NOT EVERY ONE QUALIFIES FOR OSAP!! I certainly didn’t. So you only have 3 options than 1) don’t go to university 2) hope and pay your parents (or you) saved enough to cover the cost 3) consider private loans in most cases from a bank. If you take a student line of credit the bank is NOT going to give you 33% of the money you borrowed each year back to you as a ‘congratulations for graduating’ gift. So the full cost of that education is all on your shoulders to pay back. As a result the cost of my education was a whole lot more than $26, 680.00.

This number (26,680.00) is part of the numerical myth of the befits of a post-secondary degree. Another on created by the Rae Review (don’t get me started on why anything Rae says should be discounted); a government study no less said that having post-secondary education would create $ 1 million lifetime return in income (ROI). The actual ROI number is a dismal $20,000. The reality is that a post secondary degree is only good to get your foot in the door as more than 70% of all new jobs in Canada require some kind of a degree or diploma.

And what of that magical max debt number $6,680.00, Margaret Johnson, President of Solutions Credit Counseling Service Inc. Vancouver says “the average debt I’m seeing is anywhere between $30,000 and $60,000.” Maybe I should count myself lucky that I’m only in the upper bracket and not the top bracket.
The government which runs the student loan program wants to make sure it gets its money’s worth, when interest rates were at historic lows OSAP was still charging students as high as 8% interest and if you declare bankruptcy your still expected to pay back your Student Loans, they are not disposable though bankruptcy.

In 2005 when I entered university 57% of my fellow students including myself borrowed money to pay for there education and 2009 when the 2005 class graduated 27% of us had more than $25,000 indebt compared to 17% in 1995, with the average debt load for new gads at $26,680.

When you drop a pebble in the lake how long to the ripple effects last? If more than 50% of a generation is starting life already in the red what impact does this have on the overall Canadian economy? Several people have mused in The National Post article that the economy will likely rebound slowly as large chucks of disposable income is spent repaying back student debt. As well many have been pushing retirement savings to a later date.  A few months back RBC did a study that found exactly what these contributors were mussing about. According to the study the top priority for 18-34 year olds was to reduce or eliminate debt (56%) but only 39% said they had RRSP, this is the lowest number in almost a decade. The scariest part is that a full 45% have said they haven't even started the process yet.

If you get a change It would be well worth reading both article.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Musings and Reflections on Advice, Weekly Spending Re-cap and Weekly Money Check Up

I started the below post while at work during a brain brake form studying for my LLQP exam. I went into work 2.5 h early to try and get more studying in. But by the end of the day, I am feeling very negative about my changes of passing. I feel like a failure, there are a lot of hopes on my ability to pass this test and I feel like its not going to happen because of brain's ability to retain things, something I struggled throughout school with. It's got to the point were I have figured out what I will say in a job interview when I get asked how come I was only at Bank X for 10 months. Any ways on to something a little less depressing.

On my last post I mentioned I have been mussing with what to do with the $1,000 I have in a mutual fund. Out my Window (see comments) motioned that investing is ‘for the long haul’ and she is right however this is not HOW I wanted to invest for the long haul. When I do start to invest I will likely be following the  Lazy investor method of investing. And mutual funds are not going to be part of my investment strategy. Out My Window is right, I did know when I ‘bought’ the mutual fun that it would likely be a 5 year thing and I am impatient with it. I just don’t feel anymore that the cost is out weighting the potential long term benefits. Also I have recently learned that Mutual funds are considered ‘risky investments' in the world of insurance/ investments. I fell I was mislead by the bank rep who told me mutual funds were save especially the one I have which is a ‘balance fund.’ I think what I should have been told was mutual funds are a risky investment but a balanced fund is a less risky mutual fund option. 

Little Lamb suggested I take the money out and put it into my emergency fund. This isn’t an idea I had thought about. Actually it was never considered because I feel that if I haven’t used the money now it should be ‘returned to OSAP’ just like I did with the $3,000 I had left over in summer OSAP last year. Though I might have to consider it depending on what happens by the end of this month.

As for the job aspect, depending on how well this test goes I might just be looking for a new job. However I don’t have any desire to look for a better/ higher paying job until after Dec 2011 when bank STI is paid out and salary increases are offered. Provided I pass my LLQP I am entitled to $2,000-4,000 pay increase which would put me at just under $40,000. I have been debating on going back to school in Sept 2012 depending on how things go at work. I want to take some computer courses and brush up on my language skills. Work is willing to accommodate employees who have been with the company longer than 18 months and I will be at 2 years at that point.  However, all these plans hinge on this LLQP certificate, and if that falls to pieces than I will be job hunting again.

I just want to say thank you to Out My Window, Little Lamb and Rafiki for commenting and giving me their advice. Having a third party take a look at a problem they are not personally connected to often provides a clearer idea of what to do. I still haven't decided what to do with it but I think I will hold off until stuff at work has been sorted out. 

Weekly Spending Re-cap May 30-June 5 2011
May 30 (Monday) 
$16.00 taxi $28.25 via rail ticket $20.00 transit tokens

May 31 (Tuesday)
 No Spend Day

June 1 (Wednesday)
 $2.75 MacDonald's 

June 2 (Thursday) 
Snowflaked 4.25+3.25= $7.50 jar at: $339.32  into LoC for June (left over from last pay/AN weekend spending)
No Spend Day

June 3 (Friday) 
$6.77 on a second hand DVD

June 4 (Saturday) 
No Spend Day

June 5 (Sunday)
 No Spend Day

Weekly Money Check Up

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on TTC tokens unless you count my LoC payment but I don't because its budged for.

2. Today I am thankful a job, I might be out of one soon,  its best to be thankful for what you have got! 

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was clean my room, I had let it slip to a right mess worse than it normally is at the end of the work week. I also catalogued another case of books, so I am making progress on my 2011Goals, slow progress but progress.

4. I will consider this week a success if I pass my pre-qualifier LLQP and email my professor about getting my Duke of ED trip book sighed.

5. One of my pet peeves is when friends don’t get that I need time to study and make any excuse to show up at my door. Case in point: a friend said he had something he wanted to give me so he showed up sat morning which through my morning study out the window, only to give me $1 dollar, granted it was a special Olympic addition but REALY this was his MUST give me! And than of course mom came home and well the rest is history as they say. See Sunday’s post.

Please I Need Your Advice/ Opinion!

I got a bit of studying done yesterday but not nearly as much as I would have liked. I also did some number  crunching. Before I did my 'Own Up to my debt' post I had my student debt at a nice round number like $40,000.00. Well would you believe it was almost $10,000 more and at the time I wasn't including my visa card debt in that calculation. Also at that time I set myself the 3.5 year goal, I told every one that if it took 2 or 3 jobs I was prepared to do it. My BF at the time asked me not to fearing that it would sound the begging to the end of our relationship. So out of respect for him I didn't. I also thought I would get a job that started at $40,000 and guess what I didn't. Now this is no one's fault but my own. In my defence I took the first job offered and 10 days after I had handed in my last paper for my last course of my BA degree, I was sitting in training class. So maybe I could have stuck it out and waited for a 'better' job but no one was paying my bills that wasn't an option in my option.

But I digress, let me get back to the the original topic of this post. As I was saying I have been number crunching. With my visa debt my total debt worked out to be $49,058.75 so in order to get it paid off in 3.5 years I have to put $14, 016.78 in to my debt year 1,2,3 AND year 1/2. I have been musing over if I should make year 1 Sept. 2010-2011 or Jan 2011-Dec 2011, since you will notice (see 2011Goals) that one of my goals this year is to put $15,000 into my student debt. However I have now decided to count year 1 of debt reduction, Sept 30, 2010- Sept 30. 2011. Since I think I officially started this journey Sept 9, 2010. This means as of May 31 2011 I have paid off $10,122.48 in debt (sundry debt, visa debt and student debt). However this leaves me with $3,894.30 to go before Sept 30 2011. That means I would have to put at least $973.58 between now and the end of Sept each month in to my student debt, outside of min payments to reach my Year 1 target.  Given my current debt reduction rate the number is possible however by the end of this month/ early next month I will have a car. This will significantly reduce my ability to meet this target.

On top of this my plan is after I know what my minimum monthly payments are to shift focus from aggressively paying down my LoC to my OSAP, since it is both the smallest amount and has the highest interest. And of course in October I will be in debt reduction year #2.

Another piece of back ground before I present you with my dilemma. In Nov. of 2009 I took $1000 of my OSAP money and put it into a mutual fund, I wanted to invest it in stocks but was convinced at the bank to do a mutual find (that's a post for another day). Any ways this mutual fund has done crap all for me its was up to $1115 a few months back but as of May was down to $1110. Since its done crap all for me and its likely I have paid more in interest to OSAP than it has made, I am going to cash it out. I had thought to leave it until Nov. 2011 at which point it would have been sitting for 2 years and depositing back in to my OSAP. I am hoping to recoup the $1000 since there will likely be fees for cashing it out.

Now this is my dilemma should I cash it out early (in Sept) to help me meet my Year 1 debt target
Should I leave it until Nov. and let it be part of debt reduction year #2 knowing I will likely not have met my debt reduction target for deb year #1

WHAT DO YOU THINK????  Please any guidance is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

To Toss/ Donate Or to do a Garage Sale, That is the Question

Today while I was trying to study Mom came home form church and basically screamed. She was frustrated that Em had no do the things she had promised mom she would do yesterday. One was clean up the mess she made in the living room over the last week putting together a project. EM of course decided not to do it yesterday and had a friend over instead. Mom had been out and I was at work so no one was around to monitor it getting done, now my sister is 17 1/2 and really should NOT NEED to have some monitor her ability to get stuff done, but that's not the reality. I understand Mom's frustration with Em I agree she should have done it yesterday and while we all hate the screaming it does seam to be the only way to get Em to do things.

When mom walked though the door she had a picture and a metal shelf unit in her hand I groaned more shit  my world for stuff). In the back of the car are light pumpkin things for Halloween. She had stopped off at content sale and also picked up another rug. Mom is frustrated because our house and garage is over flowing with crap and I am just as frustrated. Earlier this week mom and I had a fight over the state of the garage. I wanted to toss most of the stuff out she thinks we should sell it. I don't know when she thinks that's going to happen. The garage is full of furniture what she wants to keep. She says she's keeping because she wants to take it up north to her other place, however NOTHING has made it up north and most of it is broken or was bought will good intentions and never used.

Besides that 2 years ago when my Aunt died we cleared out her apartment and all the boxes are down stars (a few are in the storage unit). Than in March 2010 my Aunt Carm moved in with use for a couple of months and lots of her stuff came but didn't leave with her. Than in the end of April 2010 I moved home.

In our garage we have: 1 full sized kitchen table, 1 broken dinning room table, 8 dinning room chairs, 2 random chairs form a dinning room set we don't have, an elliptical machine, a stationary bike, a coat rack, a side table, a base of a table but no top to it. Boxes of shoes, a set of 3 end tables, 2 lamps, 1 lamp shade, 4 winter tires that were form her old car, a printer that doesn't work, left over laminate flooring boxes, an old solid wood (read: weights 150 pounds) secretary desk, a computer cupboard, 2 sets of golf clubs (only mom plays), a rocking chair, my aunt's recliner sitting/ smoking chair, a full set of 12 dishes never opened and these are only the things I can actually see. We have so much furniture we could furnish a 4th house. There is a multitude of shit that is on the second level shelves that are boxes that I can't even get too.

I currently rent a storage unit to store the stuff I came on with from university because we can't fit it into our garage at $180 a month. Which also has two full sized fining cabinets that are Mom's and a full double bed, sold wood bed room set which I want to get rid of.

Don't even get me started on the china we have in our basement!! We have 4 full tea sets, please tell me why someone needs 4 tea sets!!

She is frustrated with the clutter and so am I, last week we had a fight over the state of the house which is full and the garage. I begged her to let me get rid of stuff, she wants to do a garage sale I want to put it out at the front of the house and let it go. She refused and stormed off in a huff after threatening to kick me out. I was so up set with her I put my Aunt's recliner sitting/ smoking chair out on the front of the house and I put two under the bed draws (from the garage), a fountain that came with my Aunt Carm's house and never left, two pictures and a stain glass window my X-bf's mom gave me. I never like it, gave me bad vibes. My sister claimed one of the pictures and I put out an old computer chair.

Than Terry a friend of Mom's stopped by (just now) to drop off 'collectables for up north', I grounded again. I flat out told Terry that she was NOT to bring anything else!! We already have Terry's Aunt's blanket book in our spare bedroom. Now I can hear her telling Terry and another friend  how overwhelmed she is with it all and in the next breath talking about buying something else for the house, furniture wise. What bother's me the most about it all is she has made no attempt to sort and toss. AND every time I try,  I get "no, no we can sell it in a garage sale OR no, I am want to take it up north."

After our fight today I once again begged her to let me toss crap out of the garage. She had finally relented  on specific items.***I am HOLDING HER TO IT*** I know that if we put some of the things on Creg's list we might get some money for it, specifically the secretary's desk. However its barred under the 8 dining room chairs, the busted dinning room table and the full sized kitchen table. I am just not interested in the excuses any more. I think I am at a point were I will take all the screaming and yelling AFTER I have tossed the crap out.

Today while I was popper scooping I kept repeating to myself "I will cut my crap by 50%." I never want to have my house look like mom's (over furnished and lots of china and 'collectables'), we have two full china cabinets. I want to add to my 2011 Goal to reduce my crap by 50% but I have quite a few other goals that I am afraid I am over doing it. I think I will add it and see how much progress I make on it, than add it to next years goals.

Last Thursday mom told she put her self down on a wait list of a 3 bedroom apartment in an adult living
complex. I was not happy with her about this. Because she often yells at me that I make plans and don't 'consult her about them' and I think this is one hell of a plan that should have required a family pow wow. She tried to justify it to me by saying that it took 2 years for the last one to come on the market, but that doesn't mean another one will take 2 years. When I asked her why she wanted a 3 bedroom place if she expected to be the only one moving in to it she said 1) to sleep 2) office 3) guest bedroom. She also thinks that I will have paid everything off by than and be in my 'own' place.  Trust me I would love this to be the case!! But I know having it paid off in 3.5 is a lofty goal, there is no way that it will happen in 2. Unless I change jobs and get a better paying one. Which if I don't pass this exam I might just be looking for.

I was suppose to be studying all day but its 5: 30 pm and I haven't even been able to crack the books... the last 5 1/2 h have been spend dealing with the house and mom. And now this post, I need to get this off my chest.

Thanks for listening. I hope your Sunday has been a less frustrating compared to mine!

On a side note: I snow flaked 2.05+0.45 into house fund, snowflake jar at: $341.82.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Monthly Goal Re-cap

It’s the 4th of the month and I haven’t even updated my goals! So today this is what I am going to do.

May Goals
1.    fine a sport phyio place and go to min. of one appointment (SUCCESS) I actually had a 3rd appointment booked but canalled it.
2.    finish costume for Amine North (SUCCESS)
3.    finish Emily’s Anime North costume (SUCCESS)
4.    crack down on studying for LLQP (I DID BUT NOT ANOUGHT)
5.    go through LLQP Case Study Questions Book once  (DONE)
6.    Do mock LLQP exam at least once (FAIL)
7.     Write and pass LLQP pre qualifying test on May 25th with at least 60% (FAIL) Sadly the one thing that really mattered!

June Goals:
1)     Pass LLQP re qualifying exam with at least 60%
2)     Get vol. section of Duke of ED filled out and signed
3)     Get Rez Project section of duke of ED signed
4)     Get LoC under $28,000.00
5)     Get car fund up to $4000.00

Thursday, June 2, 2011

LoC Update and Debt Musings

Cat note: Salem cat #1 would like you to know that he is discouraging blogging at 6 in the morning and instead is incurring petting and sleeping since he is lying across my one of of my hands and trying to occupy the other one.

I decided not to post my first budget for this month as I don't think I will have it sorted out in time for this month. Have you ever noticed that most people refer to getting out of debt as "digging out of a hole." I think I take this metaphor to literal because it never really made any sense to me. In stead I think of debt and no debt more in the sense of 'filling' a hole and building a ladder. Let me explain:

Picture yourself standing on the ground and in front of you is a hole and a ladder. Now the hole is were you need to plant your ladder for it to have a sold foundation. If you plant it in the hole you will only reach the ground (zero net worth). So in order to build financial and life assets IE: home, kids, retirement savings, travel savings and so on you need to fill in the hole. If you find yourself with assets and a hole 'debt' its likely that your ladder is on shaky ground and you'd like to shore it up before progressing further. Or you have got only part way up the ladder and despite all your heard work have found that your at a stand still, stagnant. Thus the only way to progress further is to climb down and shore up the foundation. I would like to think of myself as being in the second of these categories. Don't get me wrong I am still staring down a large black whole, but I have a few 'assets' and now I want to make sure that MY ladder is on sold foundation so I am climbing down and putting more towards filling the whole than building up the 'ladder.' I hope my analogy makes sense to someone else besides me.

Where am I going with this? Well one of my holes got a little smaller this past month. This month I put in:

May 5~ $407.55
May 6 ~ $3.46 (Snow flake)
May 6~ $4.25 (snow flake)
May 19~$525
May 24~ $24.61(Cell phone snow flake)
May 24~ $125.54 (Easter over time pay)
May 31~ $1.68 (storage snowflake)

Total paid: $1,092.09

Daily Interest for the month of May: $3.63
Total monthly interest: $112.55
Total without interest paid in April on LoC: $979.54

Current outstanding balance on LoC: $-29,088.13

$1.68 already added to snow flake jar standing at $331.82, 4.25+3.25= $7.50, pumps jar up to $339.32

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weekly Money Check-Up May 23- May 30 AND The Perils of a Bad Day

Today has been a most disappointing day.  So I thought I would give the insurance series a brake for today and catch up on the regular things that I post about.

I didn’t pass my insurance test and I have a lot of stuff coming up this next month and the month after. So now everything is going to be so packed and messed up its such a… disappointment. I was so upset about my test that I decided I would walk off my funk. And that with the last $20.43 left of my spending money for this past pay I would seek to add books to my collection. Second hand books that I am missing and if I couldn’t find anything I would deposit the $20.43 into TD either my LoC or my visa.  I walked from The Museum Station to Christie Station (20 blocks). I went in to 4 different second hand book stores and one vender on the street and none had the books I was looking for. I was looking for Sir Oliver Mowat biography, Idiot’s Guide to Personal Finance for 20’s & 30’s and books form two young teen series. I even went in to Toronto’s best know second hand kids book store and nothing. I also only found one TD bank  along the strip and when I got there it had closed. So I am still sitting with $20.43 in my pocket and nothing to cheer me up. If ever there was a day to say in bed and hide under the covers, today was it.

Since I had no luck finding books. Tomorrow when I do my banking I am going to deposit $13.25 into my visa to cover the rest of the via ticket I put in my visa and the rest will go into my LoC, I think, unless I just put the whole amount in to my visa I haven’t decided yet. Oh and I called TD to get my LoC update I will do a post later this week about that. 

Weekly Spending Re-cap

May 23 (Monday)
No Spend Day

May 24 (Tuesday)
No Spend Day

May 25 (Wednesday)
No Spend Day

May 26 (Thursday)
No Spend day

May 27(Friday)
$18.84 hair cut
$307.90 (withdrawn)*

May 28 (Saturday)
AN11 *

May 29 (Sunday)

May 30 (Monday)
$16.00 taxi
$28.25 via rail ticket
$20.00 transit tokens

*All the money spent for AN11 was planed spending and taken from What If Fund and what ever was left of my allocated $75 spending in my checking’s account.